Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Jacksonville Jaguars will repeat 2007 success against the Pittsburgh Steelers

Jacksonville Jaguars will repeat 2007 success against the Pittsburgh Steelers

In the 12 weeks that followed the game in Pittsburgh, both teams have gone on to bigger and better results.

Jacksonville's defense got in on the scoring mood as well by scoring on two of the five interceptions they forced Ben Roethlisberger to throw in the previous matchup. He was also sacked twice. The Steelers have surrendered just 10 rushing plays of 20 yards or more this season, around the league average, and Fournette has failed to average even four yards per carry in every game this season but three. Though Pittsburgh outgained Jacksonville's offense, thanks to a Blake Bortles-led passing game that netted only 82 yards, Roethlisberger's turnover-heavy performance and the defense's inability to stop the run led to Jacksonville taking a second-half lead it never relinquished. "I'm just glad I'm on the field for it".

The Pittsburgh Steelers made it all the way to the AFC Championship Game a year ago, but fell just short of the Super Bowl, as they were beaten by the New England Patriots.

"We're going to play [the Patriots] again".

On a team loaded with talent, he's well aware that the one thing he's missing on his résumé is the one thing that a massive payday and all the regular-season touches in the world can't buy. Pass rush, linebackers, secondary, their stats.

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"I think, even in the short term, he's a question mark", former Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann said. However, Roethlisberger noted that, "Hopefully we have all gotten better as the season has gone on", a sentiment echoed by Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin, who believes that both the Jaguars and the Steelers "have evolved" since the early-October loss.

This Jaguars defense is susceptible to the power inside run game. The wild-card game is the only time these two teams played in the postseason. The Jacksonville Jaguars are where they are due to their defense. The sound bite was just that, a bite, one that in a way played a role in his resurgence.

An advantage that Pittsburgh has against the Jaguar defense is their strong running back in Le'Veon Bell and Roethlisberger's chemistry with receivers Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster.

Bortles threw 13 interceptions during the regular season, bringing his four-season National Football League total to 64.

There have been changes to Jacksonville's offense, as well. First objective is conquering Jacksonville, which held Bell to 15 carries for 47 yards and picked off Roethlisberger five times in a 30-9 blowout win in Week 5. In his first, Bortles passed for only 87 yards in last week' 10-3 win over Buffalo.

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Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Calais Campbell. In a Sports Illustrated article about how the Steelers are grappling with Ryan Shazier's injury, Mitchell made a prediction. And while that was their only recent meeting, it should be noted that the Jags beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh in the 2007 playoffs. Bell knows Pittsburgh's best chance to finally unseat the Patriots is with his No. 26 featured prominently.

With Brown likely limited by his injury, establishing the run will be key for the Steelers Sunday.

The biggest weak point of either team is Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles.

And Bell isn't afraid to speak his mind to make sure Pittsburgh's season ends in Minneapolis next month.

The Jacksonville Jaguars have not been in the playoffs for ten years, and fans would need to look back to the Fred Taylor days to remember a successful Jacksonville team. This whole year has been a redemption story for the Jaguars.

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As for Brees and Roethlisberger, the rumors surrounding them retiring have been pretty prominent.

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